Calder on our "dud assets"
Pro-expansion travel journalist Simon Calder was trotted out on BBC to answer questions from viewers about the government annoncement.
Curious question posed by someone called Dave, "Where will all the houses be built for the extra staff needed for the expansion?"
You have to remember that thousands of people will be forced from their homes with at least 1000 properties, by our reckoning, to go in the first wave of demolitions with no plans for where all those people will go. The last expansion, Terminal Five, was built within the airport boundary and near Longford Village (to be totally demolished for R3) so there were lots of properties, temporary accommodation and small businesses to sustain a large influx of people coming from other areas and, in fact, other countries. (So much for pledges that workers would be local so not needing additional accommodation.)
What was Simon Calder's answer?
"It's a very very good and valid question and there will be, I imagine, some quite complex plans put into place for how to house all the workers of what will become the biggest building project in the whole of Europe for a number of years but they did it with Terminal Five a few years ago and I dare say they will come up with answers. Meanwhile, if you've got a spare room and you live in the west London area, it could be your lucky day.
His comments of promises to ban night flights led to a statement that the last flight is around 10.30pm and first flight is 4.30am from Singapore and Hong Kong. However, anyone living near Heathrow will know they are regularly woken up at 11.30pm and after midnight by take-offs.
Calder did concede that "it's not going to be quiet every night".
He concluded by pointing out that our capital is well served by airports.
Calder continued, "In any normal economy and any normal city of course we would be expanding all the time but as with the railways we make do and mend. While we may be rubbish making new infrastruction we're actually very good at extracting the absolute maximum from some rather dud assets."
Sums it up. All we can do is add more concrete to an airport that is in the wrong place.